Case for Community Day Group Projects Encourages Camaraderie

College of Arts and Sciences team participates in Case for Community Day project

Amanda Nicol was new to the College of Arts and Sciences when the call for Case for Community Day volunteers went out. As the school's special events manager, she viewed it as an opportunity for people in the college to join together for the collective good.

They also ended up connecting on an entirely different level.

A team of more than a dozen from the College of Arts and Sciences spent the day working together on the RePlay for Kids project. It was helpful that Cyrus Taylor, the college's dean and a physicist, endorsed the team approach. He encouraged them from start to finish as they figured out how to modify toys for children with disabilities.

"It gave him a chance to teach us and do something hands on. By the end, we had a system going. We learned a lot and laughed a lot," Nicol said.

Sharon Jordan-Davis, the school's executive director of constituent relations, also was part of the team. "The most notable memory was having the dean with us," she said.

Latisha James, director of Case Western Reserve University's Center for Community Partnerships, said group projects allow colleagues "to get to know each other on another level outside of their usual work environment. Community service projects have proven to be great team building opportunities that help to strengthen the morale of those involved. More importantly, everyone is working together to make a positive difference in the community."

Several projects that can accommodate large groups will be available for Case for Community Day 2009, including weeding and pruning the Cleveland Cultural Gardens along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Jordan-Davis said departments or groups should not hesitate to join together while giving back to the community. "Just go for it. Being together as one is a great way to do it."

As a result of the shared experience, Nicol said the College of Arts and Sciences will probably plan for a group project again this year. Learn more about group and individual volunteer opportunities as part of Case for Community Day on Friday, September 25.

Campus News

The Weight Watchers at Work program will have a registration meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, August 12, in the Thwing Center Spartan Room. The group will meet weekly on Wednesdays in Thwing from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. beginning August 19. Participants receive 12 sessions for $144, payable by cash, check or charge at the August 12 meeting. Send an e-mail to for more information. The program is open to faculty, staff and students.

The university's book club is currently reading Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. Those interested in discussing the book are invited to attend the group's next meeting from noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, August 11, in Crawford Hall 720. Contact Susan Benedict for details.

For Faculty and Staff

The Department of Human Resources will host a session on "Taking Charge of Your Career" from 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, August 12, in the Toepfer Room. In this experiential, interactive workshop, participants will learn and apply career development best practices. Register online.

The deadline is approaching for faculty to order regalia for the academic processionof 2009 Fall Convocation, which will be Wednesday, August 26, at 4:30 p.m. in Severance Hall.

Convocation Procession

To rent regalia, send the completed form to the bookstore by August 14. Registration to participate in the faculty procession is available online.

Due to popular demand, Jim Zull, professor of biology and the author of The Art of Changing the Brain, will continue to explore issues generated from prior discussions during a lecture series related to the book. He will share new information on emotion and intelligence Tuesday, August 11, from noon-1 p.m. in the Herrick Room in Allen Memorial Library. Pizza and sodas provided. Those interested in attending are asked to email For future UCITE events, visit the group's Web site.

For Students

The Observer is seeking two students to deliver newspapers on Friday mornings from approximately 9 to 11 a.m. These are paid positions. A car is required. If interested, send an e-mail to


U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge will host a "State of the 11th Congressional District" address at 6 p.m., Wednesday, August 12, at Ford Auditorium. Case Western Reserve President Barbara R. Snyder will provide the official campus welcome. The congresswoman will introduce her team and provide an overview of her first six months in office by updating constituents on key issues such as the Stimulus Recovery Act, health care, education and youth program activities. Basheer Jones, talk show host and chair of the 11th Congressional District Community Caucus for Rep. Fudge, will moderate the meeting. Free parking will be provided at Severance Hall's parking garage. Call the local district office at (216) 522-4900 for more information.

The next Science Café Cleveland will focus on the topic of "Running the Gauntlet: The Bird Migration and a Changing World." The discussion, sponsored by the university's Sigma Xi chapter, begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Great Lakes Brewing Company's Tasting Room, 2701 Carroll Ave. Details are available online.

In Memoriam

William K. Laidlaw, Jr., 66, died on Friday, August 7. He was the former director of executive education and interim dean of the Weatherhead School of Management from June 2000 to July 2001. Laidlaw also received his doctorate of management from Case Western Reserve University. After leaving his position at the university, Laidlaw became the executive director of the Ohio Historical Society in 2003. In 2008, Gov. Ted Strickland appointed him a State Historic Preservation Officer. In related activities, Laidlaw served as chair of the Ohio Historical Records & Advisory Board and Program Committee for the American Association of State & Local History 2007 annual meeting and was a member of the Governor’s Residence Advisory Committee and the National Museum of Afro-American History and Culture Planning Council. Additional information is available online.

August 10, 2009

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Case in the News

Researchers finding disease is exacerbated by vision loss

Boston Globe, August 10, 2009
Alzheimer’s disease patients suffer from visual impairments with symptoms wrongly attributed to memory loss. Grover C. Gilmore, dean of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, found that Alzheimer’s patients could identify letters as quickly as healthy adults, if the letters had a high visual contrast, but lagged behind healthy adults when the letters were harder to discern.

Forehead lift smoothes some headaches

Los Angeles Times, August 8, 2009
In a double-blind study, patients with frequent, moderate to severe migraine headaches with pain radiating from a single region were treated surgically -- with excellent results. Study coauthor Bahman Guyuron, professor and chair of plastic surgery at Case Western Reserve University Medical School, found that patients were able to go home right after forehead lift surgery and return to work in about a week.

Clinton to the rescue and more

National Public Radio, August 7, 2009
Discussing the week’s top stories, Jimi Izrael, a freelance journalist and a guest lecturer and presidential fellow at Case Western Reserve University, tackled Bill Clinton’s successful effort to free two journalists held in North Korea, the Senate’s approval of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court and more.

Higher Ed News

Disadvantaged Students Can Earn 4-Year Degrees With Key Supports, Study Finds

Chronicle of Higher Education, August 9, 2009
First-generation college students who start at four-year institutions are at a high risk of leaving without bachelor's degrees, particularly if they are lower-income and minority students. But some of them do stay and earn their degrees. And a new paper illuminates what sets them apart from those disadvantaged students who do not.